Damien on… Chinese Clocks – And Other Stuff
Many years ago, I bought a bedside mains radio-alarm clock. It carried a classic British name – but was made in CHINA, “under license” – so had NOTHING to do with the British company whatsoever.
And being Chinese, first the radio conked out – then the ALARM. But I kept it, as having now retired – I had no NEED for alarms (and the radio always sounded like crap anyway – the volume pot was underrated).
But then the CLOCK fizzled out – so it was time to go shopping.
I acquired a snazzy NEW bedside mains alarm clock – STILL made in China – but this time, with a Chinese name.
Caixing. I looked them up on the Interweb, but the only Caixing in China… made WATER-PUMPS. So I’m guessing it wasn’t THEM.
Anyhoo – this new clock is a doozy. In addition to the time being displayed on four large 7SDs (with two blinking LEDs in the middle, that ALMOST line up correctly) it has smaller 7SDs for the month and date (the wrong way round – for AMERICA) and the TEMPERATURE (courtesy of a built-in thermocouple).
But the 7SD that caused me problems was one marked “Week”. Now at the time I bought the thing, it was the third week in January, so it said “3” – fine.
But the next day, it said “4” – which was confusing, as it was a Thursday – and I had thought week numbers changed on MONDAY.
But then on Friday, it had changed to “5” and then the penny dropped. They meant DAY of the week. Why didn’t they just PUT “Day” on the display?
Next day, it said “6” – fine again – it was Saturday.
But when I awoke on Sunday, it said “8” – EIGHT???
Even as an Atheist, I recall “And on the seventh day He rested” (well, six days of creating takes it OUT of you – even if you’re a GOD). So what the hell was this EIGHT?
I have looked at later models of my clock as they have appeared on market stalls – and they have now changed the display to read “Day” where mine reads “Week” – but since I do not shop on Sunday (like I said – I’m RETIRED) I have no idea whether they have corrected THAT little cock-up as well.
I suspect not, since it would require the designing of a new CHIP.
But of course, this highlights the problem with Chinese goods. While WE would be happier paying a little more for cheaply made but BETTER QUALITY goods – we are out of the loop.
It is the MIDDLE MEN – buyers and wholesalers – who purchase the stuff from the factories. And since their income depends on it – they always go for the CHEAPEST alternative, to make the most PROFIT.
Thus, if a British brolly costs five pounds wholesale, even though one made in China to the same standard might only cost ONE pound, they will STILL go for the one that leaves the factory gate at 50p.
It will make them more MONEY – but you and I are the ones left getting WET when it FALLS APART!